`Small airports are no soft touch for illegal immigrants’: UKBA

Hand-rolled tobacco, cigarettes, animal products seized at Liverpool airport

13th February 2010: Even small airports like Liverpool are no soft touch for illegal immigrants and criminals, the UK Border Agency’s regional director has asserted.

Steve Brassington, who is in charge of border controls for the whole of the agency’s North region, was visiting Liverpool John Lennon Airport.

The UK Border Agency’s successes at the airport in the past few months include seizures of 1.75 tonnes of hand-rolled tobacco, 1.59 million cigarettes and 18kg of products of animal origin.

These items come into Liverpool on flights from many different European destinations, including Spain, France and Italy.

Steve Brassington said: ‘Our strong new force at the border, with combined customs and immigration powers, is protecting the UK by cracking down on the illegal immigrants and smugglers who try and con their way into the UK. Whichever route they choose, we are there watching and waiting – there are no back doors or soft touches when it comes to UK ports and airports.

‘UK Border Agency officers are also based at locations around the globe. When foreign nationals apply for visas at embassies abroad, they now have to give their fingerprints. We have already detected thousands of false identities after enrolling over five million sets of fingerprints.’

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